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How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?

339 Answers
Last Updated: 11/19/2020 at 9:56pm
How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?
★ This question about Depression was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
February 7th, 2016 11:42am
If you are sad, you will hate the cause of your sadness but if you are depressed, you will literally hate everything.
June 19th, 2015 6:56pm
Though being depressed or sad can both be upsetting if you fear you may have more than just a temporary case of the blue you may want to consider seeking help from a professional counseling service or your primary doctor. We're always here to listen though!
June 20th, 2015 4:31am
If it has been a long period of time where you are constantly just going through the motions, then probably probably depressed. If a short period of time, then probably sad. The only true way would be to see a doctor.
September 30th, 2015 3:47am
Depression is a very strong sadness that last for long periods of time. Being only sad only lasts not more than 2 days.
March 22nd, 2015 1:19am
Depression and sadness are often confused. Ultimately, depression is the lasting and pervasive feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and lack of motivation. If your moods are affecting your sleeping and eating habits, your productivity, your work/school life, your friendships, or your life in any way, you may be depressed. Seeing a doctor or nurse could help you identify your feelings, and they could then begin to help you deal with your depression, or if you are just sad, your sadness.
June 19th, 2015 5:46pm
The length of how long you've been like that, if it was caused right after a sad event, any other symptoms and actions
June 21st, 2015 4:03pm
Depression is like a chronic sadness. You'll feel down even during and after situations that usually cheer you up, and this will keep happening over a longer period of time. It becomes difficult to enjoy anything that you usually do. There will be a lack of interest in life, a hopelessness. You'll have more negative views of the world and yourself. Physically, you'll feel tired and sore even if you haven't done any hard activity. Getting out of bed and taking care of yourself becomes difficult.
October 9th, 2015 9:29pm
Sadness may last a couple days real depression makes it hard to get up in the morning to work or school You may rearly Feel happy but not long enough to matter and everything just seems hopeless but you can recover
March 27th, 2016 10:28am
If you don't feel like doing anything, or like anything matters, you could be depressed. If you are sad, you usually feel like crying a lot.
May 24th, 2015 8:23pm
If you are depressed, than you are thinking about suicide, you loosing your sene of lfe and you also loosing your apetite, if you are sad than you are just sad..
September 28th, 2015 8:08pm
Sadness is short lived around an hour to a day and has a clear reason to it. Depression sneaks up on you and doesn't always have one clear answer to its occurrence, it'll last a lot longer at a time, you won't cry as such but it'll feel heavy in you chest and head and your brain will just feel flat and under stimulated.
November 6th, 2015 1:51am
Feeling sad or feeling depressed are normal feelings that ALL humans go through! You are not alone. You might be sad because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Often I'm sad or I'm depressed when I'm not getting enough sleep, or exercise, or if I'm consuming too much caffeine, and working in a stressful environment. How do I know if I'm depressed? I talk to my partner, or someone on 7 Cups, let them know how I'm feeling, and in talking to them I can figure it out. I'd recommend seeing a therapist if you think you might be depressed for more than a few days/weeks.
March 11th, 2016 1:21pm
If im sad or depressed i know because i shut my self away from my family and lock my bedroom door. It Sometimes comes along at times when i least expect it...
March 11th, 2016 3:56pm
Feeling down, feeling worthless, feeling like nothing will get better, feeling like you're a burden to everyone including friends and family.
March 11th, 2016 9:14pm
There are several kinds of depression but the common thing is that you feel sad, sick and empty. If you are watching tv, you would just keep staring at it. Even if you are smiling you aren't actually happy. You feel like lying down all the time and every small task would seem huge. You may even be sleep deprived. You also start avoiding social situations. It may take days, months or even years to come back to normal. If these apply to you then you are depressed and must talk to a councelor. immediately.
March 23rd, 2016 12:58am
Sadness and Depression are two different things. Depression is a more serious mental illness where you get to the point that you can no longer eat, your body hurts physically, and you get sad and feel lonely on a series of episodes. Depression is more severe.
April 23rd, 2016 10:38pm
Being sad is usually only once, it can be sad over something, for a few minutes, hours, days. Being depressed is when you are upset a lot, even with no reason and you get tired of trying to make yourself happy. You lose hope a lot and can't be bothered doing fun activities you enjoyed in the past. There is a big difference between being sad and depressed
May 1st, 2018 6:32pm
Depression has a lot more signs than just being sad, for example the inability to motivate yourself, not feeling joy in things you liked before. To really know if you're depressed, you need to talk to a therapist/psychologist.
May 1st, 2015 12:48am
I too have had the same problem. I would suggest going to therapy to talk about your feelings and they can also help distinguish if you have depression or not :)
May 22nd, 2015 10:02pm
Depressed is when the sadness happens frequently and if you're sad at a certain high level. Depression could also mean that the sadness is affecting your life. You can also try to understand if you have depression with the symptoms or talking about it to a professional counselor or therapist.
June 14th, 2015 1:10pm
Sadness usually has a reason behind it, depression can come and go but doesn't need an actual reason to get you down, but it will make you feel like things are going badly so it can be hard for the sufferer to tell. The best way to tell would be to talk to someone who knows, either on this site or a doctor or someone you know who's had depression.
June 20th, 2015 3:09pm
It is something that I can't answer for sure, but depression is generally more constant and debilitating than being sad. If you think you might be depressed it may be a good idea for you to talk to a therapist.
June 20th, 2015 4:21pm
There are differences between being depressed and being sad. Being sad is usually a feeling that is a result of a situation or cause. Being depressed is a constant feeling that occurs without reason. Being depressed takes over your life even when you feel like you should be happy. Sadness is temporary, depression is not.
June 21st, 2015 5:31am
when you're depressed, you had no interest in life or doing anything you actually love to do. but when you're sad, you'll still have interest doing your hobby and actually feel better after that.
June 21st, 2015 4:43pm
When you're sad, it's usually because of something, like a breakup or a bad test grade, but depression is a mental disorder where you're sad with no real reason. Sadness goes away, but depression doesn't if it's untreated.
June 21st, 2015 6:44pm
i usually hold my emotions in and i tend to want to avoid talkign with others and just not want to take my medicatons and i know that its hard and i just try to realx and have faith
June 24th, 2015 3:22am
Depression is a medical condition that makes you feel bad for no reason ... Sadness has a clear reason ... If you ever want to talk, this is the best place to do it .
July 18th, 2015 10:24pm
sadness tends to come in waves. Being depressed sticks around. when you are depressed, you don't want to get out of bed. i've had a sadness that has lasted for 2 or 3 days, but depression lasts for weeks or months.
July 26th, 2015 12:10am
If you feel sad that will dissipate in time and you will probably be aware that you are just going through a difficult time, whereas depression can make you feel as though things are hopeless and can drag on for extended periods.
August 6th, 2015 12:23am
Sadness eventually fades, just like any other feeling. When you are depressed, feelings like sadness stick around way longer then they should. You may have lost interest in things you previously loved when depressed, or don't feel the need to do much of anything. It's important to let someone know how you are feeling, in whatever way is best for you!